“Papa, can you read us 3 stories?”
“No. I’ll read you 1 story.”
She hesitates for a split second.
“OK, 2 stories.”
“Papa, can you carry me?”
“Not now, honey. I’m carrying this bag.”
She takes the bad out of my hand, gives it to Mama, then comes back to me, arms high, to get carried.
I have 3 daughters. The first exchange was with my eldest. The second, with my youngest.
I’ve never taught any of them to negotiate.
Never explained logic to them.
And yet, they’re able to negotiate, Art-Of-The-Deal-style, and solve problems intuitively.
It blows my mind every time.
You all know how to do this.
You intuitively know what you really want and how to get it.
But it’s beaten out of you after over 2 decades of schooling.
You have to work to get back to your natural state.
Ain’t that some s***?
Here’s the thing though…
The tendency is to see yourself as a result of your circumstances.
You don’t want to hear your circumstances are a result of you.
It ain’t Racism, Sexism, the Patriarchy, Feminism, Islamophobia, Homophobia, the Illuminati, the Globalists, creeping Shariah, or whatever the f*** else you want to use as an excuse.
It’s you. Everything is your fault.
Maybe that sounds a little mean.
“The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see I will never find the light unless, like a candle, I am my own fuel.” – Bruce Lee
This is good news.
Because when you realize your actions dictate your circumstances, you know you have power.
You know you have control.
And you take back ownership of your life.
Then, it’s just a matter of doing the right things and thinking the right things, so you can change your circumstances.
So, work hard and have good intentions.
And once you take those first steps on that journey, you can count on God’s Blessing and Help.
“…Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change that which is within themselves.” [Quran 13:11]
Changing your thoughts and actions requires some hard work.
You’re breaking decades of s***ty programming, after all.
It’s easier to work from the outside in.
That is, it’s easier to change your actions to change your thoughts…
Than to change your thoughts to change your actions.
Better thoughts lead to better actions, and this creates a virtuous cycle.
Go say this to your best friend.
“You f***ing degenerate piece of s***, you.”
“You’re such a f*** up.”
“You’ll never amount to anything.”
Would you still have a best friend?
But that’s how you speak to yourself whenever you do something wrong or something bad happens to you.
It’s your internal self-talk.
And for most people, beating themselves up like that is the norm and totally unconscious.
Happens in business too.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought these things:
“Who would want to hear from me? I’m a nobody.”
“I’m not qualified to teach people anything.”
“I never know what to write about.”
“I don’t want to be one of those sleazy marketers.”
And when you think those things, they end up becoming your reality.
Breaking the pattern of negative self-talk takes self-awareness and constant vigilance.
The good news is…
Beating it is fairly straightforward.
I learned how to do it from Mike Cernovich, through his book Gorilla Mindset.
Whenever you self-flagellate with your internal monologue, write down everything you’re saying or record it into your phone.
Then come back to it a day or two later and listen to your recording or read your words out loud.
And when you do, I want you to ask yourself:
“Is this really who I am? Am I really the way these words describe me? Is the person saying these words who I want to be?”
The answer is usually “no”…unless you’re a weirdo.
Over time, you’ll learn to catch yourself doing it and stop it before it has any effect.
Here’s another technique:
Talk to yourself in front of the mirror using your negative self-talk.
Watch your facial expressions and demeanor as you do.
Now ask yourself:
“How would I feel if a stranger or a friend came up to me and started talking to me that way, with that attitude?”
Getting to that state of self-awareness is really the core of everything I’m trying to teach you in this book.
The problem is, we’re so dependent on our surroundings for stimuli – social media, Netflix, Youtube, music, podcasts, TV – we’ve lost the ability to listen to and hear ourselves.
When was the last time you were alone with your thoughts?
Yeah, I thought so.
You need to make time for it; you need to reconnect with yourself.
Turn off the music or podcast while driving once or twice a week.
Sit in a room alone, with your smartphone turned off, for 10 minutes.
Take a long walk for an hour or two.
And over time, you’ll get better at listening to yourself.
OK, so you’ve broken the toxic cycle of negative self-talk and you’re a little more self-aware, a little more woke.